Urn Plants are among the most popular potted plants because they offer an elegant, formal look to any room. These plants often show up on tables in restaurants and hotels or on mantels at home. They’re also great for people who want an exotic plant but don’t have enough time to care for it since urns are relatively easy to take care of.
Aechmea fasciatasa, commonly called urn plant or silver vase plant, is a tropical plant with large, bright green leaves shaped somewhat like urns. It’s native to Brazil, but it’s also widely cultivated elsewhere in warm climates. Urn plant care is not particularly difficult, but there are some things you want to keep in mind if you want your plant to thrive.
|Common Name||Silver Vase, Urn Plant, Silver Urn Bromeliad|
|Scientific Name||Aechmea fasciata (eek-MEE-uh fass-ee-AY-tuh)|
|Synonyms||Aechmea hamata, Aechmea leopoldii, Billbergia fasciata, Billbergia glaziovian, Billbergia rhodocyanea, Billbergia rhodocyanea, Hohenbergia fasciata, Hoplophytum fasciatum, Platyaechmea fasciata, Tillandsia bracteata|
|Type||Epiphyte (perennial; herbaceous)|
|Common Cultivars||Aechmea ‘Aton’, Aechmea ‘Chantata’, Aechmea ‘Pink Rocket’, Aechmea ‘Cosmic Starburst’, Aechmea ‘Donna Marie’, Aechmea ‘Fulgo-Fasciata’|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||10B through 11|
|Mature Size||Height: 1 to 3 feet; Spread: 1 to 2 feet|
|Bloom Time||Seasonal bloomer|
|Propagation methods||by division of the offsets or by seed|
|Sun||part shade/part sun|
|Soil||acidic; alkaline; clay; sand; loam|
Urn (Silver Vase) Plant Care
Urns are available in all shapes and sizes, and you can find them at almost any garden store or nursery. Aechmea fasciatasa provides a beautiful way to decorate your home or office, but they require special care. Urn plant care is not that complicated, but it does have its share of dos and don’ts.
Light and Location
Urn plants appreciate bright locations but not full sun. They can’t handle hot afternoon sun or strong drafts, so it’s best to place them in a spot that gets morning sunlight and then shade the rest of the day. Urns are also pretty tolerant of low light since they’re used to growing in shadier spots in their native habitats.
One of the essential parts of urn plant care is watering. Aechmea fasciata can survive on less water, but it will do best with regular, thorough watering.
Make sure that the vase-like center of the plant is topped up with water at all times. Replace the water in the reservoir every 10-14 days to keep it from stagnating. Water moderately, enough for the potting mix to be thoroughly wet but not soggy, and allow the top 1cm (0.5 inches) to dry out between waterings.
It’s preferable to use filtered, distilled or rainwater, rather than hard tap water. Hard water may damage the leaves by building lime deposits.
Keep Urn Plant in a warm (65 °F (18°C) minimum), humid area. Aechmea fasciata is sensitive to drafts, so when you move your plant, make sure that the new location is carefully prepared. Maintain temperatures of about 75°F if you would to bring flowers to bloom. Aechmea fasciata can survive short periods of cold.
Urns don’t like extremely high humidity, so avoid placing them on top of humidifiers or near cooking and dishwashing areas.
Soil and Repotting Urns don’t need especially rich soil, but they do appreciate a well-drained potting mix that’s high in organic matter. Silver Vase can survive in just about any soil. Still, it will grow faster if you use a good quality water-soluble balanced fertilizer at half of the recommended strength during growth and flowering seasons.
Pruning Urns don’t need a lot of pruning, but you can remove damaged or dead leaves from your plant to keep it looking nice. Just be careful not to snip off any flowers with your shears accidentally.
Report Urns every two years to refresh the soil and replace a too-small container. Urn planters, as well as other quality potted plants, tend to be nursery-grown in reasonably small containers, so you should gently spread out the roots of your plant before repotting it.
Aechmea fasciata can be propagated by splitting the plant and replanting it in a pot. The offsets that appear around the base of the plant should detach from the main plant when they are about half the size of the parent plant and potted in 6-inch pots. The young plants should be kept in bright but filtered light for four months to make sure they establish themselves. Once they are established, they can be moved and treated as mature specimens.
Almost everyone who tries to grow silver vase plants wants them to bloom. Most plants will bloom eventually if their growing conditions are appropriate, but it can take a silver vase plant years to produce flowers.
Make sure your plant has plenty of light and fertile soil when bracts start to appear. The bracts and flowers will grow directly from the center of Urns. To encourage blooming, try placing a cut apple at the base of Urns and covering it with a clear plastic bag for a few weeks (keep the covered plant away from direct sun to avoid overheating). The apple will release ethylene gas, which helps stimulate blooming.
Bromeliad plants bloom only once, and then they begin to produce offsets. Once a silver Urn has flowered, it can be moved into a shadier house area and treated as a regular Urn plant. Continue caring for your plant as the leaves turn brown and die. The offsets will start to appear at the base of Urns, and these can be potted in a separate container as soon as they are at least 5-6 inches tall.
Common Pest and Diseases
Aechmea fasciata does not have significant pests or disease problems. However, urns can attract scale and mosquitoes, which may breed in the trapped water in the leaves. Replace water in the cup-like center of the plant every 10-14 days to keep bugs away.
Urns are also susceptible to root rot decease if they are over-watered. Water Urns when their first inch of soil feels dry and ensure they drain well after each watering.
Brown Leaf Tips?
Brown leaf tips on Urns are generally caused by dry air or by under- or overwatering. However, hard tap water may be the cause of brown leaf tips too. Add more water to the central part of the vase and keep it fresh. Misting Urns will help keep Urns moist and encourage blooming. If tap water is a problem, switch to using distilled, filtered, or rainwater.
Usually, the cause of pale leaves is too much sun or dry air. So move your Silver Vase to a shadier spot and mist foliage regularly.
Brown or Wilting Leaves?
This could be a root rot caused by overwatering. Urns need well-draining soil and being watered when the first inch of the topsoil feels dry. Check for crown and root rot. Trim the affected areas and treat them with a fungicide. You can also try repotting with fresh compost.
Flower or Plant is Dying?
This is normal. Urns plants produce flowers only once, and then they begin to produce offsets. Once Urns have flowered, move Urns plants into a shadier spot with indirect sunlight. Keep the Urns moist but not overwatered. Cutaway the wilted flower as close to the foliage as you can. If you continue caring for your Urn, it will produce offsets (“pups”) at the base. When they are third the size of the main plant, the “pups” can be separated and potted into individual pots.
Urn Plant Care: How To Keep Your Urn Plants Healthy (Video)
What fertilizer to use for silver vase plants?
It’s important to fertilize Urn plants occasionally for the best vitality. A general-purpose orchid liquid fertilizer applied once or twice a month during the warmer months is recommended. Urns are sensitive to over-fertilization, so use half the amount of what you would typically use on other plants.
Is Urn Plant poisonous?
Urn Plant is not poisonous, but it has a thick sap which can cause an allergic reaction if you have sensitive skin. Urns are also not edible, so please keep this plant away from pets and small children who may be tempted to taste the Urn.
How tall does aechmea fasciata get?
A. fasciata Urn plants typically grow up to 36 inches tall. However, the average height is 24 inches.
How often to water Aechmea Fasciata?
Urns are very susceptible to root rot, so watering them every day is not recommended. Instead, make sure the top inch of soil dries out in between watering.